Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Approaching My 1 Year Anniversary

Hello! Almost a year ago, I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm out of the blue. Unlike many people I have read about, I had no prior symptoms or warnings that it was coming. I had been working around the house that day, up on a ladder, etc. and was in the washroom standing in front of the sink when I started to feel light headed and dizzy. I looked into the mirror and remember the sensation that the right side of my face appeared to be melting! When I tried to walk, I crashed through the bathroom door and hit the floor. My wife called 911. I remember snippets of things…the ambulance ride, the first hospital arrival, but that’s it. I woke up in a different hospital in the neuro ICU ward, feeling relatively ok but not knowing what had happened. I was told about the ruptured aneurysm, emergency surgery and coiling procedure, and that I wouldn’t be going anywhere soon. They saved the stats on the odds of survival for later! The headaches came soon after I was admitted and I was given steady doses of Hydromorphone for the pain. Wonderful stuff! Like a cool wash of pain relief from head to toe when it goes in. During the coiling, I also suffered a small stroke which effectively eliminated my right eye peripheral vision. It has not returned and likely never will. I also experienced severe pain in my legs when I finally was given the ok to get out of bed, which I was told wasn’t from being in bed too long, but a side effect of the brain trauma which effectively was like hitting a reset switch and that I’d have to re-teach myself how to walk. Took a lot of willpower, gritted teeth and good physio to get that back to normal. My sleep has never been the same. It’s still erratic and can last 2 to 13 hours without an alarm clock. Sleeping aids have not been helpful, so when I wake up, I just try to do something productive. The cold weather has been a challenge and I’ve been reading here that others find that as well. I get mild headaches within minutes and my energy drains really fast when I’m outside in the cold. I also have photophobia due to the eye damage and find that certain light conditions (dark and light contrasting rooms and fluorescent lighting is the worst) causes a strobe light/flashing effect in front of my eyes. I need to wear sunglasses most of the time which helps. Otherwise I’m feeling pretty much ok and feel VERY fortunate to still be alive. I had an MRI in December and my surgeon has confirmed things are looking good. I’m hoping I can offer my support and share my experiences with the rest of you, and that it will help with your recovery. Thanks for reading!